In the 9th century, a Buddhist priest named Kukai introduced Chinese udon noodles to the Japanese province of Sanuki. Since then, udon soup has become a popular dish in Japanese cuisine. Usually, udon soup consists of homemade udon noodles served in a Japanese broth called dashi. The soup is served hot and often topped with chopped scallions, tempura, tofu and a Japanese fish cake. Shichimi, a Japanese spice mix, may also be added for extra taste.
Things You'll Need
- Large pot
- Paper towels
- Mixing spoon
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 8 ounces udon noodles
- 6 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/3 ounce katsuobushi (dried bonito) flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine)
- 8 large prawns, with shells removed
- 14 ounces firm tofu, diced
- 4 cups baby spinach leaves
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- Shichimi (optional)
- Sesame oil (optional)
Cook Udon Noodles
Fill a large pot with water and add 2 tablespoons of salt.
Bring the water to a boil and add the udon noodles.
Cook the noodles until they become tender, about 5 minutes.
Drain the noodles and rinse them with cold water. Set the noodles aside.
Make Dashi Broth
Place 6 1/2 cups of water into a large pot. Turn the burner to a medium heat.
Add the katsuobushi flakes to the pot just before the water boils.
Once the water reaches a boil, add the dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, sugar and mirin. Stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar.
Remove any foam that rises to the surface with a large mixing spoon.
Taste the broth and adjust seasonings if necessary. You may add some shichimi for extra spice.
Take the pot off of the stove and strain the broth with a paper towel.
Place the pot back onto the burner and bring to a boil again.
Assemble the Soup
Add the prawns and tofu to the dashi broth. Allow the prawns to cook through, about 3 to 5 minutes. The prawns will float when they are fully cooked.
Turn off the burner. Add the udon noodles and spinach leaves.
Top off the soup with chopped scallions and a drizzle of sesame oil.
Dish the soup into four bowls and serve immediately.
Tips & Warnings
- If you want to save time, you can make your broth with water and instant dashi powder. Typically, one teaspoon of dashi powder is used for 3 to 5 cups of water. Dashi powder is available at Asian grocery stores. You can also substitute chicken or vegetable stock for dashi broth.
- Photo Credit This public domain image can be found at Commons.wikimedia.org.
- What Are Udon Noodles Made of?
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